Psychedelic Medicine and Supportive Care

The Psychedelic Medicine and Supportive Care Group is dedicated to advancing psychedelic medicine and developing supportive care interventions for cancer and mental health. Our research aims to maximise quality of life by:

  1. Using population and person-centred approaches to assess supportive care needs.
  2. Identifying the most promising interventions and models of care.
  3. Embracing innovation and using cost-effectiveness and implementation trial designs.
  4. Championing equity and inclusivity for culturally safe, responsive and accessible care.
  5. Fostering interdisciplinary partnerships with clinicians, consumers and healthcare providers to facilitate translation.

Our current projects target cancer-related supportive care, adjustment disorders, prolonged grief and PTSD in disaster-affected communities.   


  • Bianca Sebben
  • Hanna Beebe
  • James Bennett-Levy
  • Justine Huynh
  • Kirt Mallie
  • Lena Von Schuckmann
  • Maryrose Malt
  • Mason Henderson
  • Natalie Roset
  • Stephen Parker
  • Tom Kennedy
  • Tracey DiSipio
  • Jonathan Hart

Internal Collaboration

  • Prof Rachel Neale on the PRoCESS (Pancreatic cancer Relatives Counselling and Education Support Service) and PARTING (Psilocybin-Assisted suppoRtive psychoTherapy IN the treatment of prolonged Grief) trials
  • Prof Louisa Collins on the PRoCESS (Pancreatic cancer Relatives Counselling and Education Support Service) trial
  • Prof Penny Webb on the OPAL (Ovarian cancer Prognosis And Lifestyle) study

External Collaboration

  • Prof Jane Turner (UQ), Prof Patsy Yates (QUT), Prof Ray Chan (Flinders Uni), A/Prof Melissa Eastgate & Prof David Wyld (RBWH) and Michelle Stewart & Sofia Casbolt (PanKind) on the PRoCESS (Pancreatic cancer Relatives Counselling and Education Support Service) trial
  • A/Prof Stephen Parker (RBWH), A/Prof Fiona Maccallum (UQ), Dr Margaret Ross (St. Vincent’s Hospital), Renee Harvey (Enosis Therapeutics), Prof Jerome Sarris & A/Prof Daniel Perkins (Psychae Institute), Professor Susan Rossell (Swinburne Uni) on the PARTING (Psilocybin-Assisted suppoRtive psychoTherapy IN the treatment of prolonged Grief) trial
  • Professor James Bennett-Levy, Dr Janet Schloss and Dr. Ruben Laukkonen (SCU), Professor Kirsten Morley, Professor Andrew Baillie and Associate Professor Veronica Matthews (USYD), Professor Paul Haber (RPAH), Professor Jane Shakespeare-Finch (QUT), Associate Professor Caroline Atkinson (We Al-li), Professor Susan Michie (UCL) on the Compassion Trial (Evaluating a Stepped Care Model to Treat Chronic Disaster-Related PTSD After the Floods)
  • Prof Meinir Krishnasamy, A/Prof Karla Gough, Prof Michael Michael, A/Prof Lara Lipton, Dr Lisa Guccione, Dr Erin Laing (Peter Mac), Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Mitchell (UQ), Dr De Abreu Lourenco (UTS), Dr Robert Blum (Bendigo Health), A/Prof Craig Underhill (Albury-Wodonga Cancer Centre), A/Prof Haryana Dhillon (USYD), Dr Jacqueline Richmond (Burnet Institute) and Michelle Stewart (PanKind) on the PANConnect (intervention for optimal pain and symptom management for Australians affected by pancreatic cancer) trial
  • Prof Sandra Hayes (GU), Prof Michael Friedlander (UNSW and Prince of Wales Hospital), Prof Andreas Obermair (RBWH), Prof Monika Janda & Prof Elizabeth Eakin (UQ), Dr Linda Mileshkin (Peter Mac), A/Prof Alison Brand (USYD and Westmead Hospital) and Dr Alison Davis (ANU & Canberra Hospital) on the ECHO (Exercise during CHemotherapy for Ovarian cancer) trials
  • Belinda Goodwin and Lizzy Johnston (CCQ), Jason Pole and Harry Gasper (UQ), Danica Cossio (CAQ) and Aaron Hansen (ICON) on the UNIQUE (UNderstanding the experiences and Investigating the needs of people affected by cancer in QUEensland) study
  • Prof Anna deFazio (USYD and Westmead Hospital), Prof Andreas Obermair (RBWH), A/Prof Peter Grant (Mercy Hospital for Women), Prof Michael Friedlander (UNSW and Prince of Wales Hospital) on the OPAL (Ovarian cancer Prognosis And Lifestyle) study
  • Prof David Wyld & A/Prof Glen Kennedy & Dr Teresa Brown (RBWH), Prof Patsy Yates (QUT), Dr Natalie Bradford (QUT), A/Prof Natasha Woodward (Mater & UQ), Dr Rebecca Nund (UQ), Dr Rick Walker (CHQ & Metro South Health) as executive members of QCCS (Queensland Collaborative for Cancer Survivorship)


1. DiSipio T, Hartel G, Butow P, Webb P, Beesley VL. Impact of disease recurrence on the supportive care needs of patients with ovarian cancer and their caregivers. Gynecologic Oncology, 2024 June, 185, 33-41

2. Huynh J, Hartel G, Janda M, Wyld D, Merrett N, Gooden H, Neale R, Beesley V. Unmet needs of pancreatic cancer carers are associated with anxiety and depression in patients and carers. Cancers Special Issue “Management of Pancreatic Cancer”, 2023 Nov, 15(22), 5307.

3. Beesley V, Ross T, King M, Campbell R, Nagle C, Obermair A, Grant P, DeFazio A, Webb P, Friedlander M. Evaluating patient-reported symptoms and late adverse effects following completion of first-line chemotherapy for ovarian cancer using the MOST (Measure of Ovarian Symptoms and Treatment concerns). Gynecologic Oncology 2022 Feb;164(2):437-445.

4. Beesley V, Webber K, Nagle C, DeFazio A, Obermair A, Williams M, Friedlander M, Webb P. When will I feel normal again? Trajectories and predictors of persistent symptoms and poor wellbeing after primary chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Gynecologic Oncology 2020 Oct;159(1):179-186.

5. Ross T, DeFazio A, Friedlander M, Grant P, Nagle C, Obermair A, Webb P, Beesley V. Insomnia and its association with quality of life in women with ovarian cancer. Gynecologic Oncology 2020 Sep;158(3):760-768.

6. Beesley V, Smithers B, Khosrotehrani K, von Schuckmann L, Hughes M, Malt M, Green A. Anxiety and depression in people with high-risk primary cutaneous melanoma: A longitudinal study. Journal of Cancer Survivorship 2020 Oct;14(5), 712-719 (Impact Factor = 3.7)

7. Beesley V, Turner J, Chan R, Yates P, Gordon L, Burge M, Eastgate M, Staneva A, Northfield S, Beebe H, Wyld D, Neale R. Supporting patients and carers affected by pancreatic cancer: a feasibility study of a counselling intervention. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 46 2020 Feb 8;46:101729.

8. Beesley V, Staneva A, Nehill C, Milch V, Hughes F, Webb P. Patterns of, and barriers to supportive care needs assessment and provision for Australian women with gynaecological cancer and their caregivers: a mixed methods study of clinical practice. Palliative & Supportive Care 2020 Apr;18(2):170-177.

9. Beesley V, Alemayehu C, Webb P. A systematic literature review of trials of survivorship interventions for women with gynaecological cancer and their caregivers. European Journal of Cancer Care 28(3):e13057 (2019)

10. Beesley V, Smith D, Nagle C, Friedlander M, Grant P, De Fazio A, Webb P on behalf of the OPAL Study Group. Coping strategies, trajectories and their associations with patient-reported outcomes among women with ovarian cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer 26(12):4133-4142 (2018)

Associate Professor Vanessa Beesley has:

  • Been awarded $800,000 of MRFF funding as the lead investigator of a major national telehealth trial.
  • Held multiple Cancer Australia contracts (totalling $150,000) as the lead investigator to provide recommendations to government about how to improve cancer care.
  • Been awarded additional seed funding ($370,000) as the lead investigator of 3 pilot intervention trials and 1 methods study.
  • Been a chief investigator of 11 other studies funded through major national grants or specialist agencies (3 MRFF, 2 NHMRC, 2 ARC, 2 Cancer Australia, 1 Cancer Council Queensland and 1 Christie NHS Foundation Trust) totalling awards of $10,500,000.
  • Been awarded $286,000 for an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship.
  • Been awarded $84,000 for three scholarships (honours, Ph.D and write-up).


Investigating MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Treatment-Resistant PTSD Related to Natural Disasters

This project is suitable for a PhD student starting in Q2 2025. Background The escalating frequency and severity of extreme weather events due to climate change have led to increasingly complex mental health challenges. In February 2023, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reclassified MDMA for therapeutic use in treating PTSD. MDMA, as a medicinal agent, […]

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The PEACE (Psychedelic Experiences And Cancer Evaluation) Study

This project is suitable for an Honours student starting in Q1 2025 or could expand for a PhD student. Background After receiving a cancer diagnosis, many patients and their caregivers live with emotional distress, often lacking access to meaningful psychosocial interventions. One potential avenue to bridge this gap in care is psychedelic-assisted therapy. This therapeutic […]

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Investigating the impact of structured counselling for carers of people with pancreatic cancer on patient and carer outcomes

This project is suitable for an Honours student starting as early as Q3 2024 or could expand for a PhD student. Background Pancreatic cancer is rare and deadly. Patients and their families have little time to adjust to this devastating diagnosis. Family carers of patients are confronted with the need to assist in the management […]

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